VALENTINE DAYZ ** U.S.A. 2018 Dir: Mark Allen Michaels 79 mins
When thousands of flu infected chickens are slaughtered in China reports soon start appearing that this mutated bird flu has spread over numerous continents and through several species before reaching humans and turning them into mindless flesh eating zombies. Unfortunately for Max (Dallas Valdez) and Sarah (Carrie Keagan) who have only just met and fallen in love, the virus hits the States on Valentine’s day just as Max pops the question. With various news reports and scientists debating about how this has happened and what is going to happen next, nothing seems to be able to stop the spread of this virus. Sarah turns and Max has some tough decisions to make.
This, luckily was not the no budget version of Warm Bodies that I half expected it to be but even so it’s certainly low budget and from the looks of it, it is destined for a life on the SyFy channel because a zombie masterpiece it is not. I found that it’s story was rushed and jumped about so much that I had no idea what was going on. The script appeared very forced that their attempts at humour fell flat and seemed misplaced alot of the time. The crazy news anchor and his guests appear to be the only comedic element to it and they manage to raise the odd chuckle but nothing more. The characters are exaggerated to the extreme with little likability. Valdez’s character Max, as far as I can tell, is supposed to be a mild mannered middle aged guy (that falls in love ridiculously quickly) yet has a dark past as some kind of government hitman but is now being blackmailed by an Irish gang (with the most awful accents) accompanied by his wise cracking lawyer??!! As the movie goes on Max visits all manner of random acquaintances on the way (one of which is an old dude with a ventriloquist doll that just sits on a rock in the mountains…. no explanation whatsoever) in a bid to find a way to understand the zombies and get Sarah back. However it is in no particular order and you never really know who these people are and how they are connected to the other characters or their significance to the outbreak, he just seems to jump around various parts of the country and then appears back in the middle of the desert and picks up where he left off like his previous scene had never happened. I think the lack of continuity has a lot to do with these annoyingly confusing segments, it certainly kills the flow. Valdez puts in the most boring performance I have ever seen, he has no depth, no charisma and looks like a crash test dummy when he wears those weird goggles which I believe are meant to make him look cool. He looks anything but. Carrie Keegan as Sarah is obviously very appealing to the opposite sex but her performance and dialogue is terribly stereotypical portraying all blondes as Disney princess air heads that do nothing but look in the mirror doing their make up and giggling, that being said she didn’t do too bad a job of being a zombie. Apart from a brief appearance from Robert Allen Mukes (House of 1000 Corpses) the rest of the cast won’t be receiving any award nominations off the back of this movie that’s for sure. The reason for giving this 2 stars is that the special effects and gore are actually really good. The zombies were also pretty good, if it wasn’t for the fact they sounded like squealing pigs then I would’ve said they were brilliant. It’s a shame that there were hardly any of them though. Whenever someone was attacked it was only by one with maybe one other hanging around in the background. Occasionally they show a random group of about 5 of them standing on top of a mountain staring at the sun, this is to signify that they are only active at night. Now I did not quite understand that this was the case, it had to be pointed out to me after I had seen the movie. I’m not sure if I just zoned out and missed the reasons behind this idea but I feel other movies using that gimmick managed to pull it off far more successfully. The soundtrack was also ok but it seems that the zombie element was an after thought and the rest of it was poorly executed so this is a massive NOPE from me.
Review by Sarah Budd